If you’ve never had homemade ice cream, you’ve been missing out on the pure joy of fresh creamy goodness. Imagine, ice cream without all the hard-to-pronounce preservatives and high fructose corn syrup. Ice cream made with wholesome ingredients that you can control. The trouble is, how do you make it without a fancy, counter-space-consuming, not to mention expensive, single use gadget like an ice cream machine?

Easy– time and patience and a little elbow grease.

How to Make Homemade Ice Cream Without a Machine

  • Start with your ice cream base (the coconut ice cream recipe I used is at the bottom), bring down the temperature of the hot mixture by placing it in an ice bath (a bowl placed inside a larger bowl filled with ice water).

  • Once the base is cooled, place it in a glass casserole dish and stick it in the freezer for 45 minutes. Take the mixture out and whip it with a whisk to break up any large ice crystals. We want to make sure that only small crystals develop during the freezing process so that the ice cream comes out creamy rather than icy.

  • Continue to freeze for 30 minute intervals and whisk the mixture until it has the consistency of soft serve.

  • At this point, you can make stracciatella ice cream, or chocolate chip ice cream. Just melt a few ounces of dark or milk chocolate and drizzle it over the ice cream. Break up the chocolate as it starts to harden from the cold cream and mix to combine. You can also add in any other toppings or swirl caramel into the soft serve.

  • Store the soft serve in a plastic container with a lid and freeze it until solid for serving.

Girl Scout Samoa Ice Cream

Caramel Sauce

  1. Swirl (don’t stir) to combine 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water in a small saucepan over medium heat forming a simple syrup. Boil down the simple syrup until it has been reduced by half and begins to turn a honey brown color. Take the caramel off the heat and stir in 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter and 1/2 cup of milk. The mixture will bubble a little but don’t worry. Add in 1/2 teaspoon of salt and stir until the mixture has evenly melted together. Set aside to cool.

Toasted Coconut

  1. Preheat oven to 350*. Evenly sprinkle 1/2 cup of sweetened coconut over a baking sheet. Bake the coconut until lightly toasted and brown, making sure to watch and stir the coconut as it bakes. It’s incredibly easy to burn the coconut so keep a close eye on it! Set the toasted coconut aside to cool.

Coconut Ice Cream Base

adapted from David Lebovitz
  1. Combine 1 cup of heavy cream, 1 .5 cup of unsweetened coconut milk, and 1/3 cup of sugar in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Continue to simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cream becomes thicker. Turn off the heat and chill the cream base in an ice bath.


  1. Follow the directions above and when the coconut base becomes soft serve, melt 2 oz of dark chocolate and drizzle over the ice cream to make stracciatella. Break up the chocolate and add in the 1/2 cup of toasted coconut, mixing to combine. Freeze the melting mixture for 30 minutes. When the ice cream becomes a soft serve consistency again, spoon out portions into a plastic container and drizzle 1/2 cup of caramel sauce evenly between layers of ice cream. Cover the container with a lid and freeze until hard. Serve scoops in small dishes or a waffle cone to get the full Girl Scout Cookie effect. Enjoy!